Hell’s Kitchen bars and restaurants were damaged as a man went fire-raising around the city in the early hours of this morning.
“This morning we woke up to the news that at 2:30am a… let’s call him ‘troubled individual’ smashed all our windows and then proceeded to light on fire the sidewalk structures of two other restaurants down 9th Avenue,” shared the team at Atlas Social Club on Instagram this evening. “Thankfully, with the help of the NYPD, said individual has already been apprehended. Let’s hope the new windows last… Anybody else need a drink?”
Their security cameras capture images of the individual, who seemed happy not to hide his identity.
The window smashing seemed to be the start of his rampage. VIV Thai’s outdoor dining structure on 9th Avenue between W48/49th Street was damaged by fire. “When I came this morning to open the restaurant it was like all burning over here,” Narondwit Lee from VIV told Eyewitness News. “Our restaurant looked so beautiful — maybe someone was jealous.”
Another block away on the corner of W48th and 9th Avenue, a dumpster was set alight.
Police believe that Alex Blodgett, 39, had set more than a dozen fires along 8th, 9th and 10th Avenues in Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea before he was arrested. NYPD apprehended him after he set the outdoor dining structure on fire at Loulou Petit Bistro & Speakeasy at 8th Avenue and W19th Street just after 4am.
Blodgett is now at Bellevue Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. Police say charges are pending.